China fund may eye BHP Billiton

Updated: 2007-06-08 11:20

A Chinese government investment fund might eventually make a bid for mining and drilling company BHP Billiton to address the country's commodities concerns, said an analyst cited in an Australian newspaper.

Shares of BHP Billiton trade in two stocks. US shares of Melbourne-based BHP Billiton Ltd. rose 90 cents to US$55.40, while American Depositary Shares of London-based BHP Billiton PLC rose 32 cents to US$51.15 in afternoon trading. Both equities trade on the New York Stock Exchange.

The company operates as a single entity and produces crude oil, natural gas, iron ore, coal, steel, aluminum, diamonds and more. Chinese demand for commodities has drive prices up recently, as the country's booming economy continues to expand.

The recently formed US$237 billion Chinese State Investment Co., which aims to invest overseas, has already spent US$3 billion for a 10 percent stake in private equity firm Blackstone, according to an article on Australia's Herald Sun Web site.

The stake will give the Chinese group a way to learn how to make private equity takeovers, Bell Potter research chief Peter Quinton said in the article. And an upcoming target of any newly acquired expertise could be BHP Billiton, the article said.

(For more biz stories, please visit Industry Updates)